One of our stops was at Grace and Peace Church where we listened to Pastor Sandra Van Opstal talk with us about their church and a worship that expresses hospitality, mutuality, and solidarity. Here are a few notes I took:
Sandra shared a bit about her journey and the life of faith community of GAP. The space is used for worship but also has many community programs and activities happening. Sandra calls it “A community center that meets in worship on Sundays.”
Sandra spoke about creating worship to help us consider the global picture. A diverse worship so we get a fuller picture of God’s Kingdom. We need to know each other, each other’s stories, and to stand in solidarity. Diverse worship is critical so that we better learn who God is and learn to stand in unity.
Worship should be expressive AND transformative.
A good tour guide helps shape a tourist’s trip around their interests…(ie: someone coming to Chicago might say they’d like to try deep dish pizza in Chicago). A great tour guide will take you where you NEED to go to better experience the city. (ie: take tourist to eat a jibarito sandwich..fried plantain sandwich.) This is true in leading and guiding worship as well.
Practice hospitality in worship. We welcome you. There’s something in our worship that welcomes the other. Who is on stage? Does it represent the community? What style of music and songs do you have?
Practice solidarity in worship. What do small groups and worshiping congregations do when a Ferguson happens or when Syrian refugees are in the headlines? Tell the stories of the global Church. Scripture, songs, prayer, preaching, teaching, worship….we can use these to shape and craft a people who think globally and are anchored in history and as persons who recognize they are connected to the rest of the world.
Practice mutuality in worship. Challenge how we tend to read Scripture through our context.
MLK quote: “In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be...This is the inter-related structure of reality.”